Thursday, March 26, 2020

Bael fruit - Vilva pazham Juice

#BaelFruitjuice #VilvaPazhamJuice : #BaelFruit is called #VilvaPazham [ #Vilvamfruit ] in Tamil. The scientific name is Aegle marmelos and it is commonly known as bael, Bengal quince, golden apple, Japanese bitter orange, stone apple or wood appleWe all must have seen vilva tree as native tree in most of the Siva temples in Tamil Nadu. I have heard elders saying that doing pooja with vilva leaves to siva lingam is very good. But they haven't told any other uses or benefits of vilva tree.
Around eight months back we have moved into a house at a township called Chittaranjan in West Bengal. The house is surrounded by many big trees such as mango, neem, guava, jack fruit, vilva [ bael tree ], fig, jamun and other unknown varieties of trees. My dear husband occupied the house before I joined him. During that period he sent a photo showing a glass of juice made from the fruit of vilva tree. It was a big surprise for me. Even more surprising is that the leaves, bark, root and fruit of  vilva tree have innumerable medicinal property. But I couldn't taste it then as the season was over when I reached Chittaranjan. Till now I  have been relishing only its tender leaves in salads and herbal tea.
Now the time has come for me to enjoy bael fruit. Fruits are falling down one by one daily as Summer has just started.
Later on I learned from world wide web that its indigenous to Indian subcontinent and mainly found in tropical, subtropical regions & also lower ranges of Himalayas upto a height of 500 meters. It is being cultivated in Eastern Uttar pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and nearby areas for its fruit, leaves, bark and roots. Various useful products such as squash from fruit pulp, dried leaf powder and other medicinal products are being produced. 

The trunk of the tree in my garden is very big and its bark looks like that of neem tree. I have noticed that smaller tender branches have sharp thick thorns about an inch long. When the leaves are bruised a nice aroma spreads around. The taste of the leaf is somewhat like that of tender raw mango [ வடுமாங்காய் ]. The flower of the tree has a pleasant fragrance. 

Bael tree

Bael fruit

The fruit is spherical in shape approximately 3 to 4 inch in diameter while its top and bottom slightly flat. Some fruits are pear shaped. The fruit has a thick hard woody outer shell either green or grey in color and turns yellow when it ripens. 

Bael fruit [ Aegle marmelos ]

The shell has to be opened just like we do for vilampazham using a heavy knife or banging on a stone or floor. The fruit has a very nice fragrance near the stalk. A good fruit is selected by its fragrance and weight. The pulp inside the shell has many segments. The pulp is orangish yellow in color. It is soft, sticky, gummy, fibrous and fragrant. The seeds are embedded in the pulp. We could see some honey like viscous fluid in the pulp. The pulp of a ripe fruit is sweet & bland or sometimes sweet & slightly sour in taste.
Carotenoids present in the fruit gives orangish yellow color to it. Tannins, ascorbic acid and riboflavins are present in the fruit. The fruit has considerable amount of fiber which help to ease constipation. Research works on bael fruit and clinical trials proved that it is antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral.

Henceforth if you see a bael fruit [ vilva fruit ], don't hesitate to enjoy as it is a store house of vitamins & minerals and also for its therapeutic properties.

Bael fruit [ Vilva pazham ]

Relish the fruit after opening the shell and scooping out the pulp. Or an yummy juice can be prepared from vilva pazham and enjoy along with breakfast in the morning.

Vilva pazham juice

Ingredients :
2 RipeVilva pazham [ bael fruit ]
2 PinchSalt [ Adjust ]
1 TbspLemon juice [ Adjust ]
1/2 TspPepper powder [ Adjust ]
5 - 6Mint leaves [ Optional ]

Method :
Break vilva pazham and scoop out pulp using a spoon.
Take the pulp in a big vessel.

Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water.
Squeeze out the pulp with your hand and remove the fibers.
Add salt and lemon juice. Mix well.

Transfer into a tall glass and top it with pepper powder and chopped mint leaves.
Enjoy tasty yummy vilva pazham juice. 

Bael fruit juice

Other juices you may like to try

Green Tea with Tulasi & orange
Green Tea with Tulasi & orange
Watermelon orange juice
Watermelon orange juice
Muskmelon Mint juice
Muskmelon Mint juice
Aam panna
Aam panna
Raw mango juice

For other juice and soup recipes


Tuesday, March 17, 2020


#BarnyardMilletFriedRice  #KuthiraivaliFriedRice : #BarnyardMillet is called #Kuthiraivaali [ குதிரைவாலி ] in Tamil. The scientific name is Echinochloa frumentacea. It is called Sawan or Bhagar in Hindi, Kodisama in Telugu and Oodalu in Kannada.
Generally all millet happen to be non acidic and non glutenous food.
The minerals and protein present in barnyard millet is considerably high compared to rice and wheat.
Nutrient contents per 100 gm of Barnyard millet : 11.2 g Protein, 10.1 g fiber, 4.4 g minerals, 15.2 mg iron and 11 mg calcium. The amount of protein present in Kuthiraivaali is the highest among minor millets like kodo, foxtail and little millet.
Barnyard millet has to be soaked for a minimum of two hours before cooking to reap the full health benefits.

#BarnyardMilletFriedRice preparation involves three stages

  • Soaking millet for 2 hours and then cooking
  • Cooling down to make cooked millet non sticky and separate
  • Process involving different ingredients in a hot kadai

Ingredients :
1/2 CupBarnyard millet [ kuthiraivaali ]
1 TspCumin seed
1/2 TspBlack pepper pounded
1 TspPepper-Cumin powder [ adjust ]
1 big sizeOnion, chop
1 or 2Green chilly [ adjust ]
10 - 15Garlic cloves chopped
2 - 3 TbspGreen peas fresh
Carrot, chop nicely
1/2 CupCoriander leaves chopped
3 TspGingelly oil [ Til/Sesame oil ]
1 TspGhee [ optional ]
1/2 TspGinger nicely chopped [ optional ]

Method :
Take 1/2 cup of barnyard millet in a pressure cooker.
Wash two or three times with water and add 1 cup of water.
Allow to soak for two hours.
After two hours pressure cook on high flame for 3 whistles.
Open pressure cooker only after it ran out of steam completely.
Topple the cooked barnyard millet into a wide mouthed vessel.
Add two teaspoon of gingelly oil and allow to cool down under fan.
Keep turning with a long spoon gently to get non sticky cooked millet.
Heat a kadai over medium flame with 1 Tsp of gingelly oil and 1 Tsp of ghee.
Crackle cumin seeds and then add slit green chilly, chopped garlic cloves and chopped onion.
Saute for two minutes and then add chopped garlic, carrot and green peas.
Saute for five to seven minutes.
Then add pounded black pepper & 
Pepper-Cumin powder
  followed by chopped coriander leaves.
Saute for a minute and then add cooked barnyard millet & salt.
Mix gently and check salt.
Top with coriander leaves and transfer into a serving bowl.

Relish with any side dish of your choice or thayir pachadi

You might also like to try
Coconut Drumstick leaf rice
Coconut Drumstick leaf rice
Karuveppilai Rice
Karuveppilai Rice -
Curry Leaf Rice
Kuthiraivaali puliyodharai
Kuthiraivaali puliyodharai
Cabbage Pepper Rice
Cabbage Pepper Rice- Muttaikos milagu Rice
Vangi Bath
Vangi Bath -
Katharikkai Rice

Saturday, March 14, 2020


#BroccoliMasalaCurry : #Broccoli belongs to a family called cruciferous vegetables and the family is scientifically called  Brassicaceae family [ also called Cruciferae ]. Some of the cruciferous vegetables are cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables.
#Broccoli is rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber and low in calories. 
#Broccoli is tasteless and flavorless. It takes very little time to cook. We have already seen broccoli stir fry [ Poriyal ] along with other vegetables. Now we will see a masala curry preparation of broccoli with potato, green peas and other vegetables.


Ingredients :
1 CupBroccoli florets
1/4 CupGreen Peas
1 medium sizePotato
1/2 Capsicum, chop
1Carrot, chop
3/4 TspSalt [ Adjust ]
2 TspGingelly oil [ Til/Sesame oil ]
To Grind :
3 TspCoconut scrapings
2 -3Green chilly [ Adjust ]
1 TspCumin seeds
1/2 TspFennel [ Somp ]
1 TspCoriander powder
10 - 12Curry leaves
8 - 10Coriander sprigs
1/4 TspSalt
1 medium sizeOnion, chop
Tempering :
1/2 Tsp Mustard seed
1 TspBlack gram split

small quantity of fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Method :
Wash potato well and cut into halves.
Boil potato pieces in a pressure cooker adding half a cup of water and 1/2 Tsp salt for 5 whistles.
Open after pressure cooker ran out of steam.
Take out boiled potato and peel.
Break into small pieces with hand and set aside.

Take a big vessel with 3 cups of water and dissolve a Tsp of salt.
Put broccoli florets in salt water for half an hour.

Take all the ingredients to grind except chopped onion in a blender and grind coarsely adding little water.
Finally add chopped onion and run for 2 seconds.
Transfer the masala paste into a bowl or plate and set aside.

Heat a kadai with oil on a stove over medium flame.
Crackle mustard seeds once oil becomes hot and then add black gram split.
Add chopped carrot and capsicum after black gram turns golden color.
Saute for three minutes.
Then add broccoli florets and green peas.
Add salt and mix well.
Close the kadai with a lid and cook on slow flame till vegetables becomes soft.
Open the lid and add boiled potato and ground masala paste.
Mix gently and adjust salt.
Allow to simmer until raw smell of masala paste goes off and the curry turns dry.
Finally add chopped fresh coriander leaves and transfer into a serving bowl.

A tasty masala curry is ready to relish with hot white rice mixed 

with sambar or rasam and also tastes good with curd rice.

It also goes well with chappathy or puri.

You might also like to try

Cauliflower manchurian Colacasia masala curry [ sepang kizhangu masala curry ] Ennai katharikkai [ brinjal masala curry ] Cauliflower poriyal [ cauliflower stirfry ] Vazhaipoo carrot poriyal [ banana blossom carrot stirfry ]

For other masala/dry curry recipes

Masala/ Dry curry